Thursday, December 23, 2010

Bonus Story: Life and Times of Aries Webb Interlude 3: Zita

“I hate you!” Zita screamed as she stormed down the hall way. “I hate you so much!”

“Honey,” Aries called after his petulant daughter. This was becoming a recurring fight with them. “Baby girl, come here. We need to talk about this.”

“No,” she said, stomping her foot down again. “No. You said we were going to get Momma! Now your saying that we have to stay here. I want Momma! I don’t want to be here anymore. I hate Mars, and I hate you!”

She slammed her door shut on her father’s face. He sighed and turned around to lean on the door.

“Baby girl,” he said through the door. “Talk to me. This is important, I need you to understand.”

“No!” she cried.

“I want to leave, just like you,” he said. “I want to go find Momma. But I can’t. I’ve been given no choice. Mars needs me, and they don’t want anyone else being leader right now. It’s up to me to set things up so it can run without me.”

“I don’t care,” she said. “I want Momma, and you promised that we would go get her when the war was done. You promised!”

He sighed again. She was right, he had promised that very thing. At the time, it seemed like a realistic idea. Once the war was over, he could release Martial Law and return the government to the Ministry and Senate, back to the citizens of a now truly free Mars. They could elect a new leader. But the elections happened, and he was the only name on the ballot. No one else even wanted to run. The Ministry and the Senate, for the first time in their brief history, were united on this front. They wanted him to lead for the next full term, a full four years. His daughter would be a teenager by the time he was done with that, and he still didn’t even know where Amelia was. His heart was torn in three pieces. One for his wife, one for Mars and one for his daughter. How could a man make decisions like this?

“Honey,” he said, trying a different tactic. “I’m not giving up on Mommy. I still want to find her, just like you do.”

“Then we should go get her,” she said through the door. Oh, if only his little ten year old understood what it was she was asking.

“I would love to, but I can’t,” he said. “But, Uncle Bo has agreed to go.”

There was silence on the other side of the door for a few moments. Then, the door slowly opened, and Aires had to quickly stand up before he fell into her room.

“Really?” the little girl with tear stained cheeks said through the door. She looked so much like her mother, it almost hurt Aries. “Uncle Bo?”

“Yup,” Aries said, smiling. “He put in his resignation this morning. That means he quit. Just so he can go do this for us. Because he knows that I can’t, even though I want to.”

“Do you think that Uncle Bo can do it?” she asked, wrapping her arms around his waist.

He stroked her hair, a tear coming to his own eye. “I hope so, baby girl. I hope so.”

End Interlude

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